After almost 6 months back in Alice we finally have internet at home. I was almost used to it but now we have it I don’t know how I survived so long with out it. It’s so exciting. Maybe now I’ll blog more.
In other exciting news I found out that I now have another six month contract at work. My current one ends on June 30th and it was starting to look like there wasn’t going to be funding for another one so I was pretty happy when my boss told me last week that the funding had come through. I really like my job and the organisation I am working for so it is good news indeed. I will be working 4 days as of July. It’s only one more day than I am currently working but it feels like a big deal as 4 days now means I am at work more days than at home for the first time since Nina was born. I would prefer three days but part time work is pretty hard to find and it’s exactly what I want to be doing and what I am qualified to be doing so I feel pretty blessed.
Martin is also now working 3 days (plus teaching motor bike riding a few weekends per month) so it will mean Nina is in care for two days but I think she is ready for that. Martin has a job with a program that offers scholarships to high school students from lower socio economic back grounds that helps to develop path ways into tertiary education. It is not exactly what he wants to be doing but it’s a good for now as it’s part time and very flexible so he can be around for Nina and it’s at the university so will certainly help build connections in the area he does want to be in.
All in all I feel like we are abundantly blessed. I feel our whole life together we have made decisions to do things or go places we feel called to, never with any certainty of what will happen, but it has always worked out. So despite neither of us currently having permanent jobs (or having had them for almost all of Nina’s life) I feel totally at peace that all will be well, that we can trust totally in God.
As you all know Nina is quite cross eyed. This isn’t the official name for what she has though, it is really called Strabismus. Nina has strabismus in both her eyes, meaning that they take turns turning inward. When the eye is turned in she is not actually seeing out of it, thus she is only ever seeing out of one eye. This obviously effects her vision significantly, particularly her depth perception.
Over the last 6 months we have seen an optometrist, then an ophthalmologist and finally a paediatric ophthalmologist and it has finally been decided that they will operate on her eyes. The operation is on the 17th June. As Nina has it in both eyes, both eyes have actually worked (just no together) so they say results should be good.
I am pleased she is having surgery, it will be great for her to be able to see a bit better and should improve her fine motor skills in particular. There is also a cosmetic element to it. I hardly notice it anymore and when I do I think it is quite cute but I know others notice. Other kids will often ask, “what’s wrong with her eyes” so I am sure as she grows she will be pleased we did it. None the less I can’t help feeling a little anxious about it. The idea of my little girl having a general anaesthetic and then having an incision in her eye is not a nice thought for me. Apparently, though strabismus occurs in 3 in 100 people so the surgery is quite common and very low risk. It will only take one hour and pain should be minimal after. The ophthalmologist here is very well regarded too and really kind. He assures me we are going to be good friends, in that follow up will be required for most of her childhood and likely another surgery. But really I should just be grateful that she can have this surgery. Grateful too that she is in every other way healthy. We really are blessed.
On the weekend Nina went on her second camping trip. But she was only about 8 months on the first one so this was the first one where she was really able to engage the experience. We went to Ruby Gap. It’s an amazing place.
I was a bit worried about the drive out as it is a pretty long and full on bumpy four wheel drive trip. I thought she would be pretty over it by the end but she loved bumping along and Keith made especially good sound effects for a long time to keep her giggling. We even let her sit in the back of the ute for a bit and when it was over she kept wanting to get back in.
We had a pretty great campsite.
Nina loved setting up the tent and then we played in it for ages.
We had a pretty nice view from the tent too.
Nina also loved collecting firewood for the fire and sitting on an esky. She really is a little camper.
We went my grandparents who really wanted to see Ruby Gap. They are both over 80 so I reckon it was a pretty impressive effort to get there and back, it’s a pretty full on trip and camping is a lot of work too. It was a blessed time with them for us.
Nina an mum had a swim in the waterhole.
I thought it was too cold but I enjoyed the spot.
We had a beautiful Central Australian sunset too.
The other day I got a call from one of those people doing research. The topic was the cost of living in Australia. They ask your income bracket and then ask if you think the cost of living is too high, if it is going up etc etc. I answered no to most of the questions.
Firstly, while I do think cost of living in Australia is high I don’t think it’s too high because mostly it is expensive because we have such ridiculously luxourious lives. In Chulucanas sure life is cheaper for people because they don’t have cars, they don’t have running water all day or have air con, fridges, big screen TV’s, DVD’s etc etc, they shop at markets instead of massive supermarkets with endless variety, they travel less, the list goes on.
Secondly, while I do notice that I am spending more at the shops etc there was a guy on the news the other day who has actually researched this topic and he showed that cost of living is going up slower than our incomes. There are a few hikes here and there but if you look at the general trend incomes are increasing faster than the cost of living so we’ve never had it better.
Thirdly, I confess while sometimes I do worry about money and can’t believe how fast it goes here I also recognise that even though Martin and I are currently living off one part time income and a small percentage of the parenting payment we are still wealthier than most of the world. The woman who was calling me had a very strong Indian accent, it is posible that she was living in Australia but I imagine she was actually calling from a call centre in India (which I don’t have a problem with this by the way). I was so embarassed by the idea that this woman and her colleagues earning I imagine very little (as that is why the call centres are there) and whose working and living conditions would be far less than most of ours woulld have to sit there day in day out and listen to rich Australians complain about how hard their life is.
Just to clarify, I am not saying life isn’t hard for many people here in Australia. People here struggle with lots of things such as illness, sexual asault and other trauma, disability, domestic violence, depression, anxiety and other mental illness, social isolation and exclusion, racism and injustice, never feeling like their enough and not that it really compares but I have been struggling with my own brokeness a lot lately. However, I don’t think cost of living is why we are suffering so I feel like instead of trying to ease cost of living we should be trying to tackle the above isues. I acknowledge for people living solely on the pension here in Australia, life would be pretty difficult financially but the answer to that is not middle class Australians complaining about the cost of living but simply raising the pension.